Globalization Services

Building a Multilingual Enterprise Website in Drupal 7 Recipe 3 Part 2

Jan. 23 2013
Esteban Solano

After doing all the changes I have previously covered, in my first Recipe 3, you should see a “Translate” tab next to the “Edit” tab for each of the nodes pertaining to the content type for which we just added translation support.


Go ahead and click on it. You will see an admin section where you can manage the translation for each supported language.

So let’s go ahead and translate some content. Click on the “Translate” tab. That will show you the translate interface for that particular node. You’ll see an option for translating the node to each enabled language in the site. Go ahead and pick one.

Any translatable field should show up in there. Simply replace the text with the proper translation. You can also translate files or media too, if you enabled translation in those fields. For instance, if you have an image field, and you enabled translation for that field when configuring the content type, then the image field should be included when translating content. Simply click on “Remove” if an image is already in there, and pick the image (word doc, pdf, video, mp3, etc) file. Hit “Save translation”, and you’re done.


Now If you navigate your site and pick the language for which you just added a translation, you should see the content being properly translated.


That covers translating content. The next topic I want to discuss is “Content Moderation Workflow for Translations”. As of this writing, there is no easy way  to get a full content moderation workflow for translations. Many efforts are taking place to have a practical solution to this important concept; but those are still in their conception/test stages. Despite these impediments, you can have a very basic moderation workflow for translations making a good use of the Content Administration tools of your Drupal Installation.


You can leverage the states of unpublished and published content, roles and permissions, plus a new flag introduced by the core Locale module called “Flag translations as outdated”. You can simply have your editors activate this flag when content needs to be translated, by checking the “Flag translations as outdated” in the Translation vertical tab on the bottom of the node edit page. Then Translators can look for outdated content in the Content Administration section, and translate the content.

This is, however, is a very basic workflow, and offers very few moderation controls. There are a couple modules out there that can help in building a robust Content Moderation Workflow for translations, but that’s a topic for another blog post. Stay tuned! as we will dive deep into this topic in our next blog post.

Mixing it All Together

So if you’ve been following us, you now have the knowledge to add multilingual support for an Enterprise class website. There are many other topics to cover or develop… things that can help you tune up your site to reach the desired multilingual level you seek; but this gives you the basis on which to build your multilingual website.

Adding multilingual support to an enterprise class website like the work we have done for Hunter Industries (, or the one we just built, is key for its success in this globalization era we now live in. It exposes your content to wider markets, and breaks down the barriers of distance and language. Take Hunter for example: How else would you be able to reach 24 different languages?

A multilingual approach like this also cuts down the costs of giving support to many different languages. Think about the cost of having, and maintaining 24 different websites, one for each language… Think about the infrastructure needed to support all those languages… Think about all the work it would take to deploy a change in one of your products, and propagate that change through all the supported languages. It is simply a ton of work, and translates into a lot of expenses. With a multilingual approach like this, you only have to worry about ONE single website, which translates into Cost Savings.


Finally, with this multilingual approach, you have yet another benefit: Your content is centralized. If you need to change something, if you need to add something; products, news, offers, you name it. It will be centralized in one platform; it will be a lot easier to have all your multilingual content up-to-date across all of the languages you are supporting. You also have more control over what gets published and what does not; and all this helps you save time and money, and focus those resources in other areas or topics of your interest.

We hope you liked these series of easy recipes for building multilingual websites. If you ended up having more questions than answers, need or want clarification in one specific topic; please let us know! We will be more than happy to help you sort out any obstacle that is keeping your from having a happy successful multilingual implementation.

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